Filming in Ferndale

Filming in Ferndale

(Crystal A. Proxmire, 1/29/2011)

Dean Bach is not an actor, but you may not know it if you saw the promos for Dino’s Lounge that are all over YouTube and Facebook.  He is, however, the owner of the popular bar/restaurant at 22740 Woodward, and also one of the largest supporters of the film industry here in Ferndale.

In 2009, Bach and friends Karen May, Susanne Janik, Greg Russell Bill Urich and Maggie Patton came up with the idea to host a film festival in order to raise awareness about the growing industry, and also to raise money for local charities.  Bach and the gang have had a great deal of success with the Detroit Film Club, a group that meets at Dino’s on Thursday nights to network and promote the industry.

Last November the Ferndale Film Festival attracted thousands of visitors to Downtown Ferndale to view 36 independent films at multiple venues along Woodward Ave. and 9 Mile Road.  In addition to attracting customers into the restaurants, bars, and stores, The Ferndale Film Festival raised $3,000 for neighborhood charities.

At the Jan 24, 2011 Ferndale City Council Meeting, Bach presented two $1,000 checks.  One was for Ferndale Youth Assistance, an organization that serves young people in the community through mentoring programs, scholarships, camps and other services.  The other was for Michigan AIDS Coalition, which advocated for an end to HIV/AIDS.  Prior to the meeting, Bach met with former Police Chief Michael Kitchen to present him with the $1,000 check to the Ferndale Police Officer’s Association.

Susanne Janik, a Board Member and organizer for the Film Festival, said that it is important for the public not only to support events like this, but also to support the tax incentives that the State of Michigan gives to filmmakers for shooting here.

Ferndale has reaped the benefits of film production in and around the City.  There has been so much interest that The City Manager’s Office has put together a packet of information for anyone interested in doing projects here.  Anyone doing filming must get a permit from the City, and pay a $250 application fee.  The City also charges for costs that may be associated with the set, such as police officers to direct traffic or Department of Public Works crew for blocking off streets.

In 2010 the following projects obtained permits from the City:

-September 2010 – Film Shoot – “Hostel III” Film Production by State 6 Films

-September & October 2010 – Photo Shoot – Dodge Photo Shoot – Dodge Catalogue Shoot – Commercial by Roe Photo

-November 2010 – Film Shoot – “Close Quarters” Film Production – Lifetime Channel Movie of the Week by Woodridge Productions, Inc.

-December 2010 – Film Shoot – “Ford Explorer Rapid Response” – Internet Commercial by Avalon Films (

-December 2010 -0 Feature Film Shoot – “The Giant Mechanical Man” – Feature Film by Mechanical, LLC.

Production companies pay the City, and they may also pay businesses or homeowners for the use of their locations.  Business owners also report having stars and producers spending money in their stores and restaurants.  Cast and crew from Detroit 187 are frequently spotted around town, and in 2009 Drew Barrymore chose AJ’s Café and Mother Fletchers as locations for her film Whip It.  In 2009 Steve Humphreys of Vogue Vintage was just beginning to make the connections that have led to regular rentals and sales of his unique antiques to be used in Hollywood-level films.

The booming industry has also attracted film-related businesses to Ferndale.  S3 group does Film Industry Training as well as works on production, providing direct production services, film finance, gear rental, tax incentive consulting and monetization, travel and more.  Their website, gives information about their services, as well as their training programs.  Here is a previous article about the Film Industry Training –

The Dramatic Arts Studio, located at 429 Livernois, is a place for actors and actresses to fine tune their craft and learn how to survive in the business.  Their website is

CinemaGrid is another dynamic start up based right on the corner of 9 Mile and Woodward.  They offer talent placement, post-production, filming, marketing, film production, marketing services, acting and scriptwriting classes, and they are in the process of planning a large film industry expo.  Their website is

Velocity Cow, Charlie’s Talent Agency, Traque Model Management, Michigan Actors School and Connective Casting are other Ferndale-based film-related businesses.  The city is also home to many aspiring actors and actresses, both on film and on stage.  Go Comedy! offers classes in improvisational humor, and actors at The Ringwald have a following of their own.

The Ferndale Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Development Authority are resources for those interested in doing business in the community, although neither group has specific plans for attracting such business. Film producers interested in filming in Ferndale should contact The City Manager’s Office at (248) 546-2360.

The Ferndale 115 News would like to help you share your experience with the film industry, and to connect these kinds of groups and businesses.  Although we have always covered the business, we have now added a new “Film Industry” section.  We’d love to hear from you with potential story ideas, news or personal experience pieces.  Contact with any suggestions or submissions you may have.

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